2012 Fantasy Football: NFL Impact Rookie Analysis

May 9, 2012 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

The NFL Draft has ended and mini-camps have begun for many of the NFL’s newest players. While a lot has yet to be decided, whether it’s the signing of a veteran or an unfortunate injury, here are some quick thoughts on the top players and situations for Fantasy Football purposes.

Quarterback

  • Only two rookie QBs to consider drafting, like many I favor Griffin since he has more talent and veterans around him. I’ve been on his bandwagon since his freshman year and it’s been an incredible rise. He is a leader and a talent like no one has seen before, not just physically but mentally as well. Sounds crazy to say, but don’t sleep on Luck though. He understands the game well, maybe as well as anyone since Peyton Manning, the Colts got some weapons in the Draft. They might not win much more but should at least score more, while trailing often.
  • For dynasty leaguers … I’d chose Tannehill or Weeden. Simply put, I don’t like Weeden under pressure while Tannehill has the athleticism to escape. Not gonna win any titles with either, probably.
  • Perhaps the player with the most upside besides the top two is Russell Wilson who was drafted by the Seahawks. Although they signed Matt Flynn to a 3 year deal and Jackson proved somewhat competent last season. I’ve heard too many people write him off as Seneca Wallace 2.0, he is so much more than that. A mini Drew Brees who is a superior talent and leader

Running Back

Trent Richardson: Clear #1 becomes the #1 in Cleveland. 1000 yards seems like a safe estimate since he should be the bell-cow in that offense, whether McCoy or Weeden starts at QB, and see around 20 carries a game. He has the speed, power, and all the tools to become one of the leagues best running backs. What makes him especially desirable is that he is the clear #1 in the backfield and offense, which is a role that has been diminished throughout the league.

Doug Martin: You don’t take him, unless you plan on giving the pounder the rock. Interestingly it’s a pounder who is in a front of him, although he has been vulnerable to competition. I keep hearing Ray Rice comparisons, but I wouldn’t go that far. He can catch and has good vision, but is more of a between the tackles guy who has the acceleration to make a big play. Expect Martin to win the job, probably sooner rather than later.

David Wilson: Comes in with great quickness and cut-back ability. Should become the #2 behind Bradshaw, who is not durable. Wilson had some fumbling issues and only had one year of productivity at Virginia Tech.

Ronnie Hillman: One of my under-the-radar backs, left SDS early, can really move, shifty. Broncos needed youth at the position with Willis wearing down and Moreno underwhelming, as usual. Hillman will have a lot to learn and have to earn the trust of Peyton, but if he’s the best option…he’ll be out there. I still like UDFA Mario Fannin from ’11 and obviously Willis from last year.

LaMichael James: Super fast, but crowded backfield where he’ll probably be the change of pace guy. Not great news for Hunter, but it may be Gore who they are preparing to bust (stats decling).

Turbin and Miller: Backups, who I really like.

Wide Receiver

Justin Blackmon: It all comes down to Gabbert … but at least their WRs are much improved and it starts with Blackmon. He’s a great short and intermediate WR, who is at his best after the catch. He won’t be your deep threat, that will likely be L. Robinson with Thomas playing in the slot, but he could be targeted quiet a bit.

Kendall Wright: All of a sudden, are the Titans explosive? CJ2k obviously, but now add Wright to go with Britt as well as Cook and possibly Locker at QB. Wow. Possibly a shift in philosophy. Britt coming back from injury but Washington and Williams coming off decent campaigns in 2010. A team to watch.

Michael Floyd: He is a polished, all-around WR. Although he doesn’t necessarily have the top speed, he excels everywhere else. Great hands and body positioning, he runs routes well and high-points the football with ease. He has got to beat Doucet and Roberts, but I have no doubt that he will. The bigger issue will be if the OL can give whichever QB is starting enough time to deliver the football.

Stephen Hill: He will get chances on shot plays. No one really knows how he will play with so little experience, but you can’t teach his size and speed. Promises to be hit or miss, unreliable for Fantasy in Year-1.

A.J. Jenkins: The 49ers continued to add speed and playmakers. He has speed and decent hands, one of the more unheralded prospects. Should learn a thing or two from Randy. Greg Cossel says he is a complete WR who can line up everywhere.

Brian Quick: A lot of people complaining about this pick whether it was too early or because he is a D2 player, but the film definitely pops. He is big, he has a burst, holds on to a lot of balls, and has upside. 6’3 220, but watch this…

Mohammed Sanu: Thought he would be a great complimentary WR and now gets to play with A.J. Green. PPR target?

DeVeir Posey: Opportunity meet talent. He was forgotten about my some NFL Draft experts, but not me as he made plays since his first year at OSU. Now he’ll have every chance, or should, to play opposite Andre Johnson.

Rueben Randle: Should step right in to replace Manningham. Numbers won’t be there right away, but I think he could eventually be more consistent. Borderline 1st round talent, that the Giants didn’t hesitate taking. Jernigan could play more slot this season which would obviously limit his time on field.

Alshon Jeffrey: Pairs with Marshall to give Bears physical WRs. Great size, great hands, and will catch a lot of covered catches. Still, struggles to separate and probably won’t help you this year. Marshall said he expects Hester to benefit the most from his acquisition.

Sleepers: Hilton/Brazill, Jones, Adams, Childs/Wright, Fuller/Cunningham

Tight End

Coby Fleener: I really like his chances, although I’ve been fooled before [Kendricks]. Fleener is a strong athlete with a good head on his shoulders. Most importantly, he has great chemistry with his QB. He scored 9 TDs last year and while TDs are hard to predict I see him scoring quite a bit. He should step right in and Allen should do more blocking.

Ladarius Green: Loved him receiving skills last year and watching him at the combine confirmed it. Heir-apparent to Gates, great place to go.

Adrien Robinson: Super athletic sleeper and former basketball player who got drafted by the TE hungry Giants.


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